CHAPTER 20: In Latitude 47 degrees 24' and Longitude 17 degrees 28'
"Originally this ship was christened the Marseillais. It carried
seventy-four cannons and was launched in 1762. On August 13,
1778, commanded by La Poype-Vertrieux, it fought valiantly
against the Preston. On July 4, 1779, as a member of the squadron
under Admiral d'Estaing, it assisted in the capture of the island
of Grenada. On September 5, 1781, under the Count de Grasse,
it took part in the Battle of Chesapeake Bay. In 1794 the new Republic
of France changed the name of this ship. On April 16 of that same year,
it joined the squadron at Brest under Rear Admiral Villaret de Joyeuse,
who was entrusted with escorting a convoy of wheat coming from
America under the command of Admiral Van Stabel. In this second
year of the French Revolutionary Calendar, on the 11th and 12th
days in the Month of Pasture, this squadron fought an encounter
with English vessels. Sir, today is June 1, 1868, or the 13th
day in the Month of Pasture. Seventy-four years ago to the day,
at this very spot in latitude 47 degrees 24' and longitude 17 degrees
28', this ship sank after a heroic battle; its three masts gone,
water in its hold, a third of its crew out of action, it preferred
to go to the bottom with its 356 seamen rather than surrender;
and with its flag nailed up on the afterdeck, it disappeared beneath
the waves to shouts of 'Long live the Republic!'"
"This is the Avenger!" I exclaimed.
"Yes, sir! The Avenger! A splendid name!" Captain Nemo murmured,
crossing his arms.